Xiaomi does not upload personal data without the user's knowledge, Hugo Barra claims


Yesterday, we shared the news that Xiaomi, which was the top performer on the market in Q2 2014 and is now the fifth largest smartphone manufacturer, supposedly spies on its users. A Xiaomi Redmi Note user discovered that the phone is constantly communicating with a Chinese server and is allegedly transferring photos and texts to it. We can't say if this is true or not, but Huggo Barra, Xiaomi's vice president of International, addressed the recent allegations in a blog post.

The ex-VP of Android claimed that Xiaomi is not eavesdropping on its users and Xiaomi's actions have been greatly misinterpreted. He claims that the MIUI, Xiaomi's custom Android firmware, needs to communicate with the company's servers “from time to time”, so that it can check for over-the-air updates, as well as download “thousands of jokes, holiday greetings, and poems”.
Barra declared that the only personal user information Xiaomi stores on its stores are the synced contacts, notes, texts messages, and photos that Mi Cloud, the company's own cloud storage service, backs up on a regular basis. The high-ranking Xiaomi executive reminded users that Mi Cloud is disabled by default. If they have turned it on, however, the can easily deactivate the cloud sync, Hugo Barra also advised.

Then again, most users are used to regarding such statements with disbelief. Hugo Barra addressed these and claimed that Xiaomi is “serious about user privacy and takes all possible steps to ensure our Internet services adhere to our privacy policy”. The reason for this is pretty simple and sound, according to the executive – if Xiaomi engages into unlawful activity, this would affect the company's strive for global expansion in a rather negative way. A sound argumentation, when you come to think of it.

source: @HugoBarra

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14 Comments

1. itsdeepak4u2000

Posts: 3718; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

This should be true otherwise it would make the company's downfall very soon. Xiaomi just now gained momentum.

14. WahyuWisnu

Posts: 1001; Member since: May 29, 2014

I think someone just doing a black campaign to discredit xiao mi. Maybe they afraid of Xiao Mi or dislike China.

2. sriuslywtf

Posts: 297; Member since: Jul 09, 2013

So that's why they want you to log on XIAOMI's server.. And That's why they want weekly OTA to cover this..

3. mattkl

Posts: 255; Member since: Feb 01, 2010

"Pictures from "Media Storage," and texts, are being sent to the server. And lest you think that it is Xiaomi's cloud service backing up data, the manufacturer's MiCloud feature was turned off when this was happening." "As pointed out by one of our loyal readers, looking up the owner website reveals the information that "CNNIC is the administrative agency responsible for Internet affairs under the Ministry of Information Industry of the People's Republic of China." Original post:http://www.phonearena.com/news/Report-Xiaomi-Redmi-Note-sends-photos-and-texts-to-Chinese-server_id58744

4. grilotell

Posts: 2; Member since: Jul 31, 2014

And also from the original post: "And even rooting the phone and flashing it with different firmware didn't solve the issue."

6. RajRicardo

Posts: 490; Member since: Feb 28, 2014

Well Xiaomi phones are rooted by-default and he didn't actually show the pics 'after' firmware flashing.

5. billgates

Posts: 555; Member since: May 29, 2014

Keep saying that but that doesn't make it true Hugo

10. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

If you don't own a XiaoMi phone than this would not concern you one bit. I have bought three RedMi Note and i am happy to buy more (friend requests) despite the never-sayer. I told my friends that China might spy on them; Their replied "Fu*k the Chinese government but get me the phone anyway"

7. avalon2105

Posts: 352; Member since: Jul 12, 2014

And everyone is OK with iPhone sending their fingerprints to NSA. For all I care they can send anything and everything from my phone to anyone they want. I'm not stupid enough to keep anything really important on my phone and if they want some blurry photos of me and my friends, made when I was wasted, by all means, help yourselves. I just know that somebody in NSA is dying to see those or read my text messages which mostly go "Want to grab a coffee, 2 P.M., insert location".

8. Iodine

Posts: 1478; Member since: Jun 19, 2014

The difference is, no one has ever seen sending your personal data to an iCloud server, when iCloud was turned off. And considering Apple has once blamed by CIA or FBI or whatever for too strong encryption of iMessages that didn't allowed them to track their targets, i would say it's rather safe. Everyone is OK because there wasn't a privacy scandal on Apple devices. In contrast, everybody knows that google is sucking out data of every android device, and no one is worried.

11. avalon2105

Posts: 352; Member since: Jul 12, 2014

What you said differs from all the news on that topic that I've read but okay, maybe I've read something wrong. I wanted to make two completely different points and those are: 1. If Xiaomi was sending info to NSA, everyone would say "It is okay, they need to catch terrorists". 2. If you have some really important data, why would you store it on a device you are most likely to lose/have stolen.

9. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

iPhone doesn't send fingerprints to the NSA, they are stored locally on a secure chip. They don't get send to Apple servers in anyway. And as an individual you might not be interesting enough for the NSA. But as a group, you can be. It's a subtle tool to control the people.

12. avalon2105

Posts: 352; Member since: Jul 12, 2014

Like I replied to Iodine, this is nothing against Apple directly, but against people who say it is okay for Murica or UK or EU to collect user data like that and it's so wrong for China or Russia to do the same. And I know that NSA has no interest in this particular unemployed college student or any individuals associated with me but there are much easier way to acquire my fingerprints if they want them (like biometrical data encoded in my passport). Point is why would anyone store important data on their phone, I don't store stuff like credit card number etc. even on my desktop at home which is much less likely to get lost/stolen compared to phone.

13. mr2009

Posts: 34; Member since: Mar 26, 2013

i trust xiaomi. and partly because there is another article that discuss about this in more detail. just add 3w in front of the link below... lowyat.net/2014/07/did-xiaomi-really-install-spywa​re-on-the-redmi-note/

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